Like most films scheduled to hit in 2020, Godzilla Vs. Kong saw its release date pushed into 2021, which was to be expected at that point. However, the next bit of news hit a little bit harder for director Adam Wingard, who was looking forward to his first major blockbuster eventually stomping into theaters. According to a lengthy new interview covering everything from his work on Godzilla Vs. Kong to his teenage obsession with writing a Thundercats screenplay that he’s finally getting to bring to life, Wingard reveals that the announcement that his massive monster battling film would debut on HBO Max left him “devastated.”
“This was my first big movie, a big opportunity. More than that, this is a movie that is meant to be seen on the big screen,” Wingard told Deadline. “If any movie is that, it’s Godzilla vs. Kong. You want to fill up the size of the screen, this is the one to do it with. I was depressed, upset, sad. It took a while to work out the details.”
But despite agreeing with filmmakers like Christopher Nolan who challenged Warner Bros.’s strategy, Wingard eventually came around to the streaming debut after seeing people’s reaction to the trailer:
“When it hit, I was blown away. We hit record numbers on trailer views, fans were putting out reaction videos. Those saved my life, watching people filming themselves watching the trailer, and reacting to it. It was special because we’d been deprived of blockbuster cinema in 2020, and finally, people were getting their first look at the biggest craziest popcorn movie you could imagine.”
As Wingard goes on to elaborate, why should he complain in the middle of a pandemic? “I thought, these people just need for movies to come out again. It means so much and if the only way certain people will see this is at home, so be it.” Fortunately, Wingard’s hope that Warner Bros. would keep its word and only use the HBO Max strategy for its 2021 film slate was not misplaced. The studio recently announced that it would be ending day-and-date releases in 2022 as promised, however, films will now have a 45-day window before hitting PVOD as opposed to 90 days, which was a change that was likely coming, pandemic or not.